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How to Look After Your Wedding Dress - How Do I Choose a Reputable Dry Cleaner?

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

It’s likely that you’ve found this blog after buying your dream wedding dress, or you may be researching the best ways to store your dress after your special day. Today we’re going to be talking about the importance of wedding dress cleaning, storage, and preservation, so you can keep your dream dress looking as beautiful as it did the day you said ‘yes!’.

If you ask any bride, their wedding dress is likely one of their most prized possessions, representing many treasured memories and bursting with love and sentimental value. In order to keep your wedding dress in pristine condition, it’s critical that you clean and correctly store your wedding dress as soon after your wedding day as possible. Wedding dress preservation and storage can be a bit complicated, so we’ve put together some of our top tips to keeping your dress in perfect condition for years to come.

Why is Wedding Dress Preservation Important?

Choosing a wedding dress is a magical experience and often a significant investment. If you want to keep your dress or plan to pass it down to your daughter one day, it’s very important that you know how to look after your gown to avoid permanent damage.

Wedding gowns are intricately designed, with many layers, delicate fabrics, beading and detail. If you choose not to preserve your wedding dress after your wedding day, you risk the following:

  • Brown Oxidation Spots

  • Mould and Mildew

  • Permanent Fabric Creasing

  • Damage or Loss of Beading

  • Yellowing of the Fabric

  • Permanent Staining

Do I Need to Clean My Dress If There Are No Visible Marks?

Not getting your dress cleaned after your wedding is very risky business. Some brides may feel it’s unnecessary, as no obvious stains are immediately visible. This can change very quickly.

For example, white wine, champagne, bubbles and other clear liquids will dry with no visible staining in the beginning. However, anything containing sugar will begin to caramelize over time, resulting in dark brown or yellow staining. The same goes for deodorant marks, sweat, body lotions, and happy tears. In a very short time scale, they settle into the fabric and it’s almost impossible to remove the marks.

When Should I Take My Dress to The Dry Cleaners?

The sooner you take your dress to be cleaned, the more chance you have of removing stains. We would recommend you book your dress to be cleaned in a matter of days after your wedding, especially if there’s visible staining or soiling, such as grass or mud stains around the hem, as this can attract mould very quickly.

If you plan to jet off on your honeymoon straight after your wedding, ask one of your bridesmaids or family members if they can take your dress for you.

Avoiding Stains on The Day

If your special day is still approaching and you’re trying to avoid staining your dress, here are a few tips to avoid any accidents:

  • Use a napkin or get changed before you sit down to eat

  • Avoid red wine

  • Apply make-up and hair products before you get into your dress

  • Always step into your dress

  • Ensure any moisturisers or tanning products are completely dry before your wedding day

  • Check for dirt before you sit down

How Do I Keep My Dress from Turning Yellow?

The most common cause for yellowing is storing your wedding dress in plastic.

The garment bag that you may have brought your dress home in is for transportation only. Wedding dresses are made from very delicate materials and shouldn’t be kept in plastic for long periods of time. Plastic gives off damaging fumes and allows dampness, light, and warmth to get inside.

How Do I Choose a Reputable Dry Cleaner?

Finding a dry cleaner that you trust can be a task. It’s important to remember that removing stains from a jacket or your favourite pair of jeans is a completely different ball game to cleaning a wedding dress. Don’t just opt for your local dry cleaners for convenience. Do your research and ensure that they have the experience and resources to do a great job.

At Lily’s Boutique, we’re happy to advise on storage and cleaning information, and recommend Pennywise Cleaners for wedding dress preservation. They’ve provided fantastic service to many of our brides for many years.

How Should I Store My Wedding Dress?

You’ve retrieved your dress from the dry cleaners and it’s time to put it into storage. Make sure you’ve purchased a clean box ready. Some dry cleaners offer one with the service so remember to ask. Carefully pack the dress in the box with clean acid-free tissue paper and store it flat in a cool, dry place such as a shelf within your wardrobe.

Storing your clean wedding dress correctly increases your chances of your dress staying in perfect condition for many years to come, allowing those happy memories to be retained and passed on to future generations.

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